Winsupply’s new facility aimed at fostering innovation

Winsupply’s new Richard W. Schwartz Center for Innovation is designed to cultivate cutting-edge collaboration at hundreds of Winsupply locations nationwide, but also help grow a local subsidiary that now calls the building home, officials said.

Located at 3300 Kettering Boulevard in Moraine, the 28,000-square-foot building primarily is home to plumbing supply house Winsupply of Dayton, which relocated from downtown Dayton. The new site, which will be dedicated next week, gives it much larger offices (3,000 square feet of them) and an 18,000-square-foot warehouse with radiant-heat flooring, plus a 2,500-square-foot showroom with a full-service counter.

“We wanted to create a space that was totally unique for our customers, because most places you walk into, our older facilities, they’re kind of dark, dreary (and) there’s just no thought in making it a fashionable place to go,” said Jeff Williams, president and owner of Winsupply of Dayton. “Well, now we have this beautiful facility here where people actually enjoy coming into. It’s very inviting, welcoming, warm and we’ve got a lot of really neat services here that we provide for our customers.”

That includes rotating lockable storage units that allow for customers to pick up material after hours or on the weekend, all of it grouped under an overhang to keep customers dry during inclement weather.

“We just put a lot of thought into making the experience of coming and picking up their product and materials they need a much more enjoyable time for them,” he said.

The site also now is Winsupply Inc.’s primary location for training new employees and testing new innovations, something that benefits not just Winsupply Support Services employees from two adjacent campus buildings, but all local Winsupply companies, said Bill Tolliver, Winsupply Inc.’s vice president of real estate services and in-house counsel.

“If someone from our Support Services campus ... is writing a program that’s going to affect the way that an inside salesman completes an order, they can come and sit with the inside salesman, walk through what their process is currently, explain what the technology would do that they can help improve the process,” Tolliver said. “And then they can work together to make sure that we build something that is really good for the local company.”

Now, when Winsupply Inc. writes something, it can bring it into the new facility, where it can innovate and put into play solely there to see how the people are going to use it every day and the customer are going to respond to the new product, Tolliver said.

“It’s important for us to get it right before we push it out to the rest of our local companies,” he said. “It really becomes an incubator, but the heart of the building and the operation is (Winsupply of Dayton) that is servicing their customers and making that experience better.”

Being next door to Winsupply Inc. means Winsupply of Dayton’s customers get first access to all the new technology services coming out of there so they’re “always on cutting edge of anything new that we’re bringing out” Williams said.

The new Winsupply building also features a training center that seats more than 50 people and is adjacent to a break room and patio.

One of the Dayton area’s largest businesses, employers and fastest-growing companies, Winsupply is in the business of construction wholesaling, every day supplying thousands of different products to contractors and installers nationwide.

It shares risk and equity with partner companies — more than 650 of them — in 45 states. It has more than 8,150 employees nationwide, including more than 600 throughout the Dayton area, 500 of them at its Moraine campus.

Naming of new 28,000-square-foot facility is a tribute to well-known Dayton businessman and philanthropist Richard Schwartz, Winsupply’s chairman and its former president and CEO.

“Mr. Schwartz has done so much for this company and the growth that it experienced under his watch and how much we identify with Mr. Schwartz and how much he identifies with Winsupply, it was a fitting tribute and very apt,” Tolliver said. “It just made a lot of sense.

“I think it is great to honor the role that he’s played in our company, even if it’s small compared to the gravity of what he’s accomplished for our company.”

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